What is a Blockchain?
A Blockchain is a digital ledger, that can not be altered or corrupted. It provides a secure way of making and recording transactions, agreements and contracts. This can be virtually anything of value that needs to be recorded and verified as having taken place. The Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared database that is continually synchronized between all the nodes in the network. This provides a decentralized method of storing data and using the network with obvious benefits. The blockchain database is stored across many different computers simultaneously removing the single point of failure weakness traditional networks provide. The blockchain provides a way data can be easily verified with no centralized version of the information that can be easily corrupted by hackers. The digital ledger grows over time and becomes a long list of transactions that have taken place since the start of the network.
A network of peer to peer computing nodes make up the blockchain. A Node is a computer connected to the blockchain network using a client that performs the task of validating and relaying transactions. When a node joins the blockchain network it will download a copy of the blockchain automatically.
The Blockchain and Enhanced Security
Decentralized storage of data across the blockchain network eliminates the risks that come with data being held centrally. A blockchain network lacks centralized points of vulnerability that can be exploited by computer hackers. The internet has many security flaws that are familiar to everyone especially evident in the news from all the hacking attacks. Traditional methods that we all rely on are the username and password system to protect our identity and assets online. With a Blockchain, security methods are implemented using encryption technology based on public and private key cryptography.
Below is a list of applications for Blockchain technology. The technology is not limited to this list, but serves as an example of what can be done:
- Smart Contracts
- Sharing Enconomy
- Supply Chain Auditing
- File Storage
- Prediction Markets
- Protection of intellectual property
- Internet of Things
- Neighbourhood Microgrids
- Identity Management
- KYC and AML
- Data Management
- Land Title registration
- Stock trading
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